A vital away win for Manurewa Kidd Contracting at Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel has put the prospects of a home semi-final in their own hands after a telling weekend of action.
Jeremy Clark’s side earned a 33-23 win over the in-form Patumahoe and, coupled with Bombay’s loss, means Manurewa moves to within a point of second place on the table and have a game in hand in the head-to-head battle with Bombay for second place and a home semi.
“It was a tough day like we always knew it would be,” a relieved Clark said. “Patty at Patty is always a tough one so we are happy to get the points and keep that home semi alive.
“We got off to a good start and put pressure on. We had a lot of possession early and pretty much put points on when we were down there. We got up to 16-0 but momentum swung and credit to Patty they got back into the game and it was 16-13 at halftime.
“We had some good impact come off the bench that swung momentum back our way.”
The second loss in a row for Patumahoe makes them vulnerable to the chasing Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega and Karaka over the final two weeks of the round robin.
A crucial clash with Bombay looms this week.
Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors had little trouble in defeating Bombay 40-17 at Bruce Pulman Park in an ominous warning for the rest of the teams battling for a place in the McNamara Cup playoffs.
“I was happy with the performance especially on the defensive side of things,” coach Doug Sanft said.
“Our game management was good and we were a bit more clinical around finishing off some opportunities we had.
“We had a couple of boys come back this week but we still don’t have any locks. Hopefully we get some of the locks back for our last game against Manurewa.”
The defending champions have a week off now and Sanft isn’t sure whether that is a good thing or not at this time of the year.
“I really don’t know to be honest. It is good in terms of some guys needing a break to get over some niggles but in terms of momentum maybe not.”
Karaka kept their semi-final ambitions alive with a 49-19 bonus point win over Papakura Ray White at Karaka Sports Complex.
The home side raced out to a 27-5 lead by halftime and essentially had the game won at that point.
“I was really pleased with the way we played – it was the first time we put backs and forwards together on the same day,” Karaka coach Scott Penney said. “We had a bit of everything from a dominant scrum and dominant line out and then backs did a good job to recycle the ball for the big fellas as we spread the ball around.
“When your forward pack is going well, your whole team goes well as any team would say.”
Karaka faces a must-win game against Manurewa next week that will have a major bearing on whether they play semi-final football or not.
Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega also kept their semi-final hopes alive with a convincing and confidence-boosting win over Onewhero Silver Fern Marquees at Colin Lawrie Fields.
The home side claimed a 50-14 win to remind everyone how impressive they can be at full strength.
The bonus point win pulls them to within a couple of points of fourth-placed Patumahoe with two games remaining.
Pukekohe has one of the more friendly draws over the next fortnight, but they need Patumahoe and Karaka to slip up if they are to return to the semi-finals in 2019.
Ardmore Marist cleaned up Bombay 47-28 in Bob Chandler Memorial Premier 2 action. The win means they are guaranteed to finish on top of the standings. Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical locked in second place as they accounted for Manurewa Wise Property Management 43-29. Karaka thumped Papakura 78-0 to edge ahead of Bombay in the battle for fourth while Weymouth thrashed Waiuku 69-0.
Maramarua created a stunning upset as they pipped Te Kauwhata 29-28 in a thrilling Sid Marshall Shield Premier 3 contest. Ardmore Marist beat Onewhero 24-17 in the other fixture.
Patumahoe Albycon eased past Waiuku 38-12 while Manurewa had no problem in beating Bombay 80-7 in Massey Cup U21 action.
Pukekohe caused an upset in Under 85kg action as they beat Waiuku 33-6 in commanding fashion. Patumahoe Brady Construction Pak N Save edged Onewhero 21-19 to keep in touch with the leading sides while Bombay beat Beachlands Maraetai 41-5.
The Drury women proved too good for Manukau to take a 32-10 win while Ardmore Marist and Weymouth had big wins in their games against Auckland opponents. Papakura went down to Grammar TEC while Manurewa were beaten by Marist. Patumahoe received a default win over Kumeu.
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